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Atlanta bishop backs personhood amendment

Atlanta bishop backs personhood amendment

The Right Rev. Robert Wright, the new Episcopal bishop of the Diocese of Atlanta, has expressed support for the “personhood” amendment to the Georgia constitution, which would define life under state law as beginning at the moment of conception.

In a two-part interview with WABE radio in Atlanta, he said: “As someone who was adopted personally and as someone who has adopted, I am grateful, in a profound way, that … my mother, my biological mother, brought me to term, and gave me the opportunity to live the life that I have lived,” he said. “I am grateful to God for that.” He added that the personhood amendment could help shape thinking about the death penalty and eldercare.

Listen to part 1 of Wright’s WABE interview here, and part 2 here.


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Jonathan Hagger

The thing is, life doesn’t begin at the moment of conception – it begins well before that. Both sperm and egg are alive and have the potential to become a person. The difference in potential between a separate sperm and egg and sperm and egg joined together is relative. Furthermore, you could argue that life begins way back when the first cell divided in two. When that happened the potential for my birth became real.

Being grateful for someone allowing the potential of one’s own personhood to become a reality is highly selective gratitude. What about all the sperm and eggs that did not become Bishop Wright? At the end of the day either we need to accept that “personhood” is about something else other than sex or we need to protect every particle in the universe because every particle in the universe could one day become part of a person (whatever a person is).


Wow, that amendment proposal is so vague as to be meaningless. “Earliest biological beginning” can mean pretty much whatever you want it to mean.

Gary Paul Gilbert

The new bishop also said that blessing same-sex couples is the most that the Diocese of Atlanta can do for same-sex couples because the State of Georgia prohibits marriage equality. The church can always say that it considers all committed couples married for purposes of religion.

The so-called personhood amendment would declare a fetus a person and implies that abortion should be outlawed, no matter what the Bishop’s personal opinion. Women would be disrespected. The text reads:

“Should the Constitution of Georgia be amended so as to provide that the paramount right to life is vested in each innocent human being from his or her earliest biological beginning without regard to age, race, sex, health, function, or condition of dependency?”

With friends like this, who needs enemies?

Gary Paul Gilbert

Dave Paisley

As roughly only one third of fertilized eggs make it to implantation, this is an absurd position as it places random chance (DBA God) as a mass murderer that would put to shame.

John D

An Atlanta Episcopalian, I heard Bishop Wright’s interview on WABE, our NPR station, and he made it quite clear that this awkward position is his, personally, and places no obligation on the rest of us in the diocese. I know enough of the intelligent and articulate Rob Wright to think that he understands exactly the intent of the legislation that he said he supports, though I could hope differently. And as an obstetrician,the absurd constuct of “personhood” at conception is,well ,anathema.

John Donnelly

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